Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Home on the School

Mark Early writes on the benefits of home schooling. I have long advocated this an a prefered alternative to statist, Darwinist education. Of course, there are private schools as well. As is, everyone is taxed for statist education, even if you send your children to a private school, home school them, or have no children. It is another collectivist injustice.


Luke said...

Dr. Groothuis, as someone who has been to all three, I had the best experience in public schools.

I appreciated the challenge of interacting with people with different belief systems, and learning to defend my beliefs from a fairly early age.

Public schools offer a lot of opportunities for motivated students. I graduated with 30 college credit hours and had the opportunity to take more than that had I so desired. It may be hit or miss depending on the district, but I had good luck. The worst struggle with a teacher came from a history teacher who refused to allow me to enter into class discussion because I would disagree with her frequently. It was irritating, but it was obvious to anyone in class who was being the child there.

I know some private schools can offer a good education, but the price for tuition for good private schools can rival college tuition prices. This is not feasible for many families.

Furthermore, I tended to be bullied much more at private Christian schools than I ever was a public school. Some of that may have just been luck, but I know it was the case for my wife as well that Christian school kids tended to be more cliquish and often more cruel. Part of that may be chalked up to the smaller size of private schools which resulted in less room to fit in, but it still is the case.

I think that parental influence has much more to do with what kids get out of high school than what type of school they go to. Even if kids are indoctrinated with Darwinism or other foolish notions, parental involvement and discussion can remove much of the confusion which they can entail. I never questioned my faith due to high school teaching or friends, and I never bought into the liberalism or naturalism some teachers promoted. This was likely more to do with my solid family and engagement of my parents who made sure I had right understanding and who were active and engaged with me as I learned. I am the oldest of four children, and I know this is the case for all four of us (and all of us attended or are attending public high school).

Paul said...

As someone who did all three with our two siblings, I can honestly say that Christian schools were the worst and home school was perhaps the best. However, there is no magic bullet against the secularization of children. It's purely and solely the grace of God that reaches them and offers protection around them from the onslaughts of anti-religion.

Paul said...

And another point (more to your point):
Simply because public education wields the Darwinian sword and many of the associated secular ideals, does not mean there are no benefits from living in an educated society, such as benefits derived from the common grace of God (e.g., order and symmetry, discursive thinking, problem solving, basic civility, et al.). If there are genuine benefits, then society as a whole should pay for it via taxation. Communities that refuse annexation in order to keep their taxes low and not pay for public education fail to recognize these common graces given to us from an educated society (notwithstanding the many woes of our educational system).

Changed and Changing said...

Hello Dr. Groothuis,

I have been both homeschooled and public schooled. For K-8th grade, I really believe that home schooling is by far superior. I enjoyed it and I haven't suffered socially or academically because of it. Instead I have been blessed on all accounts because of it. I was able to interact with multiple age groups because of the flexibility. I knew how to work on my own and be motivated on my own at a very early age because of it.

I think parents have to think about it much harder now when kids approach high school because of the specialization that happens in high school. However, modern homeschoolers have many home school associations where they can help with the subject matter specialization so that isn't nearly as big of a detractor as it used to be. Basically I loved being homeshcooled, though I had a good experience in a public high school and I'm glad I did have it.

For those who are interested in a more academic discussion on the pro's of homeschooling they can check out this link.

Kathy said...

Being on the pioneer side, (as in homeschooling being somewhat of a new frontier for us), my comments are coming from the view of "this is the only way we have ever done it!"

Educating the Whole Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson has been a resource that has heavily influenced our family in the homeschooling process, aside from the Bible. Because we are not simply blessing their brains with knowledge, info and bucket loads of facts to be regurgitated, but aiming to educate and train the entire person, homeschooling has become the vehicle of choice, and actually, no choice at all in our view.

This is not a defense in homeschooling being THE only way. But in comparing modular homes to a custom-built....I'm going the custom-built route.